Barings, one of the world’s largest diversified real estate investment managers, has acquired Soapworks, a mixed-use development in Bristol with a gross development value of £215 million. Barings has completed the investment on behalf of a retained client and will work with mixed-use developer, Socius, to deliver the scheme.
Soapworks will create a new district in Bristol city centre five minutes’ walk from both Temple Meads Station, Bristol’s main train station, and the new £500 million University of Bristol campus. Set within a new public square, it will comprise two new buildings alongside the restoration of a Grade II listed former soap factory that dates back to the 1860s.
The scheme has planning consent for 154,000 sq ft of flexible office accommodation which will target a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating and aim for net-zero carbon in operation, as well as 243 build-to-rent (BTR) apartments, 20% of which will be for affordable tenures, and 18,800 sq ft of flexible ground floor retail, hospitality and leisure space. The workspace will be divided into 18,000 sq ft in the existing Grade II-listed building and 136,000 sq ft in a new building which will aim to address the shortage of modern, sustainable workspace in the city, which has a high graduate retention rate of 51% and current office availability of just 106,000 sq ft, less than half the five-year average.
The proposed development is expected to deliver up to £200 million of social value according to independent consultant Social Value Portal, an additional 513 new net additional full time equivalent jobs within the Bristol economy, and £35 million per year of gross value-added contributed to the Bristol economy relating to new employment uses.
Source : Company